Family

I Don’t Know If My Family Is Complete

baby-1542920_640I’ve been thinking about having another baby.

Before we go any further, please understand, I have no intention on swaying your womb in one direction or the other—this is about me.

I’ve read articles and essays debating each side of this particular conundrum. Evidently, I’m not alone in my constant vacillation on the topic.

The advice ranges widely. You get a bit of this—“If you enjoy wearing poop like war-paint, you should definitely have another kid.” And a bit of this“We got a really great price on a school bus and learned to make our own laundry soap.”

I have feelings of indifference on the topic.

Some days I feel like super-mom, and my confidence grows stronger with every cup of coffee. Other days are fraught with failure and frustration, and I feel insane just thinking about adding another monkey to this circus.

On occasion I have hidden in my closet to avoid my children. Maybe my husband found me in there with a glass of wine at the end of a particularly rough day. Maybe not.

I eat most of my meals standing up in anticipation of the next request, and I’ve seen sippy-cups grow things that would impress lab technicians.

So why would I poke the bear? I don’t know, but I kind of want to. 

Currently, I have two children. Between the two of them, they are everything I never knew I wanted.

I always thought I would have kids, but I never realized what being a mom would mean to me. My kids have taught me so much about myself, and not to get all “it’s my purpose”, but I love being a mom. 

I hit my stride in life the day my daughter was placed in my arms, although I didn’t know it at the time. In fact, by the time she was three days old I was questioning whether I was even cut out for the job. Motherhood will do that to you.

That first year was rough, but by the time her brother came along two years later, I was a Jedi. Well, maybe not a Jedi, but I could clean up an oil spill with just three babies wipes—no problem.

With a curious toddler, and a high maintenance newborn, life was challenging, and I was tired. My husband and I work fairly well as a team, but there were times I stared out the window and mentally noted places I could bury him in the backyard.

Don’t worry, he’s still alive. It’s a good thing too, because he has talked me off more than one ledge over the years.

Now, the kids are two and four now and life is manageable. The toddler stage is full of insane requests and nonsensical behavior, but that’s par for the course, right?

No one sleeps in their own bed, and the volume in the house is constantly set at Metallic concert. My rational mind says, “We’re good. Two is enough.” But, in the moments of calm, when we are snuggled under a blanket together, eating popcorn and watching Wreck-it-Ralph, I think, “Maybe just one more.”

It’s often in these popcorn-snuggling-movie-watching moments when I breathe deepest, and take in as much of the moment as I can.

These are the moments people talk about—the ones you will miss.

Maybe it’s this knowledge that leaves me feeling uncertain about the completion of our family. Perhaps, if we have just one more, and that baby has to grow up too, I can prolong these moments. I can stay wrapped in this blanket a little longer. 

I know I can’t keep them little forever, but there is such a finality with each passing milestone. I feel young-motherhood slipping further from my grasp, and I wonder if I can really let it go.

Is my son really my last baby? I honestly don’t know.

So, for now, I’m going to live in the moment and soak up the days I am my daughter’s “best friend.” I will snuggle my son and let him feed me popcorn with his chubby toddler fingers as often as he likes, and pray he hasn’t used those same fingers to push the “brown button” on the back of the dog.

I will be present and mindful, because if these are the moments I will miss, I want to remember them in all their ridiculous glory.

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